Saturday, March 5, 2016

Why We Should GAF

This is something I have been thinking about so much lately but I am not sure how the idea will develop.  So I am just diving in and typing and seeing what comes up.
I am sure that most of you have heard the phrase “I don’t give a fuck” or seen the abbreviated version – IDGAF.  Sometimes you might hear/see “I have zero fucks to give.”  I think there might even be a meme for this.  
Off topic, but its funny how definitions of words can easily change over time.  First, as far as I know, ‘fuck’ was used as a course, dirty way to say have sex or do sex to yourself.  And as time moved on, now it can be used mean one doesn’t care about (noun or proper noun).
Back on topic - why I think people should ‘give a fuck’ more about people, issues and feelings. 
The other day I was walking in a parking lot and heard someone say to their friend something to the effect of ‘all these people around here are just stupid and retarded.’  The friend responded with ‘wait till we get in the car to say those kinds of things.’  And this guy responds with ‘I don’t give a fuck who hears me.’  It’s possible that he had some kind of unpleasant experience in the store they were leaving, but I agreed with his friend.  I fully believe there are some things are just better left to be said in private. 
I don’t feel that we, as a society, should become even more politically correct.  There are times I feel that trying to be sensitive in speech to everyone’s opinions/feelings/beliefs has gone completely overboard.  And I think there are times when it might be completely appropriate to tell someone to ‘piss off’ if they are being a complete ass.  And on the other hand, some people have become overly sensitive and get offended way too easily about small things that don’t mean anything in the grand scheme of the universe.  People have forgotten how to laugh and lost their sense of humor.  I do think there could be some middle ground between the two ends of the spectrum though. 
For instance if we can make someone’s day a little easier or make a moment a little brighter by being kind and patient, why can’t we do that?  If we can do our job a little better to help a fellow employee or customer, why not do that?  If we can be a little more mindful of those around us before spouting off stupid senseless things, then shouldn’t we do that?  In the man’s example above, what if a person passing by heard that and they had a child or relative that had some mental incapability and for a moment it made them tear up and lessen the joy in their day?  I don’t mean that we should try to be solely responsible for everyone’s joy the whole of every day, but if we cannot try to purposely destroy it, then why not? 
There are many moments during my work week where I listen to customers stories of sadness due to job loss, the unsuccessful job hunt, sick/dying relatives, sick pets, their financial struggles and so much more that sometimes it becomes hard to listen to the sadness and injury; but I often GAF because empathy is one of the greatest things we can show our fellow human beings.  (I say this only because my employer and co-worker sometimes call me Dr. Phil for all of the things I am told, a lot of which I did not ask to hear.)
There have been many instances at work where I wish people working in another part of the company that I represent gave a really big F about their work and what that would mean to people in my position.  If people used their brains more and actually cared about the work they do and realize how it affects those in a position like mine, my job would be a little easier and less stressful.  However, when people within this company DGAF, then it makes efforts considerably tougher on me, my co-worker and the thousands like us, which can make some interactions/conversations 100x worse since we are in customer-facing roles. 
Also, I think if we start to GAF more often in our lives, then we might start to become better people and better employees.  And when someone dislikes something you say or do, then you take it personally to try and find a better way (depending on the circumstances involved of course).  I say this to give this example – one day a customer, female in her early 20s, was buying insurance on her own for the first time.  Up until that moment, she had been under her parents coverage.  When I explained to her how the process worked and the cost associated with it, she immediately became upset saying she was going to leave to find another insurance company because she wanted to find a place with better service.  This upset me greatly because I gave her good service and most importantly, accurate information.  She did not like the truth that she was being told and she equated this with bad service.  I became quite distressed by this because I don’t want people becoming angry or distrusting, or thinking that they have been misled especially with something so important.  However, I was able to talk to and finally reason with her, and fortunately she is still a client.  But I also have learned that you can’t please everyone and not everyone wants to hear the truth or solid reasoning.  So when you run across these people, I guess the only thing you can do is DGAF.
I guess we are not meant to be a hero in every situation or personal interaction.  But when we can use our common sense, deploy our patience and exercise some patience, maybe we can make some encounters more tolerable along with not making people feel more anxious about something going on in their lives, then I guess we can count those times as a win. 
So I guess the more we GAF and the less we DGAF, then maybe the world will be a little better off.  Because being nice and caring certainly is not going to make this world a worse place.  We have enough people who do that already.

Today’s pun from the interwebs ---
Way back when, I used to remember things by tying a string around my finger. Even then I had digital memory.  (from D in Ft. Worth)